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Low level of knowledge regarding diagnosis and treatment among inpatients with schizophrenia in Shanghai

Authors Huang J, Chiovenda A, Shao Y, Ma H, Li H, Good MJDV

Received 29 September 2017

Accepted for publication 9 November 2017

Published 4 January 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 185—191

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S152917

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Prof. Dr. Roumen Kirov

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang


Jingjing Huang,1 Andrea Chiovenda,2 Yang Shao,1 Huajian Ma,1 Huafang Li,1 Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good2

1Department of Psychiatry, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China; 2Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Objective: The study was designed to measure the level of knowledge of the diagnosis of illness and its treatment among patients with schizophrenia in China, and to examine the association between the capacity to provide informed consent and participation in treatment.
Participants and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at three clinical inpatient sites in Shanghai, China, during 2015. Patients’ knowledge of the illness, as well as the knowledge of the patients’ families and psychiatrists, was determined. Logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with patients’ knowledge of schizophrenia.
Results: Out of 109 enrolled schizophrenic inpatients (mean age 42.46±1.29 years), 60.6% were aware of their diagnosis and 67.0% knew details of their treatment plan. The group with unimpaired capacity for giving informed consent had a greater knowledge of their diagnosis (χ2=5.002, p=0.038) and of their treatment plan (χ2=11.196, p<0.01) in comparison with patients who were regarded to be impaired. Using logistic regression analysis, it was found that patients’ capacity to give informed consent to treatment was associated with the level of knowledge surrounding the diagnosis (odds ratio =3.230, p<0.05) and the level of knowledge of treatment (odds ratio =4.962, p<0.01).
Conclusion: The level of knowledge reported by inpatients with schizophrenia was low with respect to the diagnosis of schizophrenia and of the treatment associated with this illness. An association between patients’ capacities for giving informed consent and knowledge of their illness was confirmed in the present study. The results suggest that, in clinical practice, the informed consent process should be strengthened to protect the interests of patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords: ethics, informed consent, schizophrenia, illness knowledge

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